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Blue Horse (Deluxe 2xLP) (LIMITED EDITION)

4.7 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Vinyl, July 5, 2011
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$299.98
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Editorial Reviews

Limited edition 10th anniversary vinyl release of the Canadian folk trio s debut album, Blue Horse. The vinyl features 3 bonus tracks including 2 previously unreleased early recordings, plus the previously unavailable "Be Good Tanya" performed by Obo Martin - the song that inspired the band s name. The packaging will be a deluxe 2-LP gatefold, 180 Gram with a 28 page songbook and a digital download card.
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (July 5, 2011)
  • limited_edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Nettwerk Records
  • ASIN: B00505472C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #417,743 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There's something innocent and rough around the edges, almost tomboyish about this excellent CD. Where else can you find the childlike sense of wonder at singing a dog lullaby; a naivette that produces lines like "the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs," and the pure joy of a banjo playing a reggae beat (Rain and Snow)? The lyrics are sweet, the instrumentation pure and raw. Campfire harmonies make the cover of O Susanna a natural choice. I can almost smell the woodsmoke and smores, and see the glint of the strings from three great musicians just plain making music they love, and loving it. This album puts the folk back in folk music while managing to stay fresh and new. It is an incredible work of neo-traditional North American folk art -- trust your instincts and buy this disk!
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Late last night I was driving between New York City and my home in East Hampton. I was listening to a new cd (well, new for me, the album is from 2000) by a group of female singers called The Be Good Tanyas. They are absolutely amazing. They play music that is kind of folky, bluegrassy--though mutedly so--and traditional, though none of those labels really describe what they do.

There are three female singers, and their voices are plaintive, sweet, forlorn, and gorgeous. They accompany themselves on guitar, banjo and mandolin, and the music has a purity and simplicity that allows it to be piercing and haunting. Their harmonies braid and intertwine and make you want to sing along with them (which believe me you do not want to hear when I do it), and then make you want to shut up and listen, because their singing is so gorgeous you need to be silent in order to appreciate it.

Not a bad song on the album, but check out their renderings of two traditionals: "lakes of ponchartrain" and "oh susanna" to see what these women can really do. If you had told me I would LOVE a version of that old chestnut "oh susanna" I would have thought you completely bananas, but fact is, it is amazing.

Blue Horse was the perfect music for being alone in a car hurtling through the night darkness thinking of love and loss and past and future which I was doing. This is the best cd I have purchased in a long time. I also recommend their second cd, Chinatown, and am waiting breathlessly for the third (oh please hurry up!).
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Format: Audio CD
The Be Good Tanyas are the perfect antidote to the soulless treacle passing for music these days. With their sparse, flawlessly executed tunes, haunting, elegant vocals, and intelligent lyrics, one gets the sense that they actually recognize the power of music and are devoted to their craft and not the pursuit of profits. Instead of providing merchandising opportunities or a springboard into multimedia dominance, the Be Good Tanyas make music that speaks directly to he heart. The messages are simple - pain and hope and comfort - but eternal. Refreshing as a summer rain, shining with understated enthusiasm, I can only hope the US music industry is paying attention. After the success of Down from the Mountain, one would hope that major record labels would be quick to seek out quality artists for a thirsty audience wandering too long in a desert of Brittany's and Jlo's. Equally disheartening is that the very best in music these days comes from Canada (besides the Be Good Tanyas, check out Sarah Harmer) and Australia (Kasey Chambers). Do yourself a favor, toss all of those American Idol wannbe CDs in the dumpster, pick up the Be Good Tanyas, and listen to what quality music should sound like. Maybe in a few years, the anemic US music industry will finally catch up to the discriminating standards of fans that appreciate music and not celebrity.
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Format: Audio CD
The group named themselves after the title of a song by Obo Martin McCrory despite the fact that none of them is actually called Tanya. Still, the verse of the song that is printed in the booklet (about a free-spirited gypsy soul wanting to get away to sing) provides plenty of clues as to why they chose the name.

Frazey Ford (guitar vocals), Samantha Parton - no relation to Dolly (guitar, mandolin, vocals) and Trish Klein (electric guitar, banjo) recorded two albums together, this being the first. Jolie Holland was not a member of the group but appears on several tracks variously singing, playing guitar or playing fiddle. Other guests provide electric violin, double bass and drums as required. Trish is also an artist - her painting of a train provided the cover for the front of the booklet.

Despite the inclusion of a banjo among the instruments, the music here is generally mellow and reflective. On this album, their voices sound fragile so it was probably wise of them to avoid picking up the tempo too much. The songs are a mix of originals (mostly written by Samantha and / or Frazey) and covers of traditional songs. The original songs are the best here, especially Littlest birds, Only in the past and Don't you fall. Among the covers, the most famous is the Stephen Foster classic, Oh Susanna, though this song doesn't really suit them. Nevertheless, their cover has a charm of its own. The best of the traditional songs are Rain and snow and The coo-coo bird, both of which suit them ideally.

The Be Good Tanyas, with their fragile voices, take a little getting used to (and some may never get used to them) but they know exactly what they are capable of and make the most of the talent they have. The result is an album of mellow folk-country music that is distinct from the alternatives on offer.
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